Updated March 28 at 3:28pm

EDC looks to improve local business climate


PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Economic Development Corporation, led by Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee, voted to adopt a “focused yet flexible” work plan aimed at improving the local business climate in the Ocean State.

The goal of the two EDC subcommittees – Access to Capital and Making it Easier to do Business – is to help existing Rhode Island companies and businesses looking to relocate to the state, succeed and create jobs “while protecting the health, safety and quality of life for the state’s citizens.”

The EDC hopes to reduce regulatory costs and increase the amount of capital available to Rhode Island businesses, according to the release.

“Effectively managing time, finances and staff resources is the life blood for any business,” Karl Wadensten, chair of the EDC Board’s subcommittee on Making it Easier to do Business, said in prepared remarks.

“A clear, predicable and reliable regulatory system is invaluable to companies because they can more easily focus their energies on increasing the flow of capital and producing better products and services instead of having to cut through layers of government red tape,” he added.

The subcommittees spent several months meeting with members of the Rhode Island business community, federal, state and local officials, and other economic development stakeholders to help develop their prospective work plans.

“By working with state agencies and municipalities, the RIEDC’s Office of Regulatory Reform will help businesses better navigate the regulatory system, establish our state’s processes as the ‘best in class’ around the country and make Rhode Island’s business environment more competitive,” said Wadensten.

The EDC board aims to achieve a 10:1 leverage ratio of private capital co-investment to state investment for Rhode Island’s $13.1 million share of federal State Small Business Credit Initiative grant funds.

“I have hosted a number of community business forums recently in cities and towns throughout the state, and two things I hear again and again from small business owners are the need to streamline regulations and provide greater access to capital,” said Chafee.

“I am pleased that today we are taking steps toward both of those goals and continuing to make Rhode Island a better place to do business,” he said.


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